Five-star offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood’s Alabama commitment is holding firm following his official visit with the Florida Gators this past weekend.
If you’re a Florida fan and refused to get your hopes up about the Gators flipping Alex Leatherwood from Alabama, you made the right choice — or so it appears.
The nation’s No. 3 offensive tackle and No. 18 overall player spent his final official visit in Gainesville this past weekend, and it went well. However, as the 5-star prospect told SEC Country, it won’t be enough to lure him away from the Crimson Tide.
Leatherwood cannot envision himself in any other jersey than an Alabama one, even though he has thoroughly enjoyed his recruitment. Despite the reticence to flip, he did have some nice things to say about Jim McElwain’s team.
“My visit went well,” Leatherwood said of this past weekend. “I mostly enjoyed hanging out with coach McElwain, his wife and the coaching staff. I liked hearing about the future of the program from the coaching staff. They talked about that a lot. They said that they’re starting to put the pieces together.”
The Gators have long pitched to Leatherwood that he can come in and get playing time on Day 1, especially considering how young, inexperienced and banged up Florida’s offensive line is and has been.
Unfortunately for McElwain, the Tide can offer early playing time as well, and Leatherwood feels comfortable trusting his gut and sticking to his Alabama pledge.
“I did feel iffy before, but now I feel very confident with my commitment,” he said. “I actually plan on signing my financial aid papers with Alabama soon. I just needed time to think over everything and evaluate things to the fullest.”
An early enrollee, Leatherwood will need to get his ducks in a row so he can be on campus in January.
The nuts and bolts creaked in a similar fashion to some other recruiting battles between Florida and Alabama, but as many Gators fans would tell you Nick Saban wasn’t losing this recruiting battle.
Note: Scout rankings, ratings and photos used in this article.